Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Veggie-ism taking some potshots
It's been a bit of a bad week in the veggie world. Despite what I - and lots of people - thought, Clint Eastwood is not actually a vegan or vegetarian. A NY Times reporter was interviewing him, and brought up the supposedly well-known "Clint as Vegan" topic - In 1986 he bought [the restaurant, which has] a piano bar, heart-stopping views of the ocean spray on Point Lobos and plenty of meat on the menu. Despite what you might have read on Wikipedia, Mr. Eastwood is not a vegan, and he looked slightly aghast when told exactly what a vegan is. “I never look at the Internet for just that reason,” he said.
And today there's a brief story about Paul McCartney and the Dalai Lama on the news websites. Turns out the Dalai Lama is NOT a vegetarian (who'd a thunk it!) and McCartney once tried, unsuccessfully, to convert him.
AND THEN, an actress named Bijou Phillips is interviewed in the LA Times and quite happily talks about veganism being crap and returning to "real" food again:
So you feel all right?
I feel good! I'm sick and I've been sick four times since I've been vegan and I hadn't been sick for five years before that. I need to eat food because this isn't working. Every vegan I know gets sick all the time.
AND FINALLY Canada's national newsmagazine, Macleans, has a lengthy story titled Will Soy Make My Son Gay. I looked into soy a while back and as far as I could see, it was fine for you. This article doesn't come down on either side of the argument, but OF COURSE they had to title it as provocatively as they do. Reminds me of this story from a while back... Rise of the Vegan Fairyboys. This writer got really hammered in the Global Vegan group on Facebook.
The only beneficial story I've seen the last few days comes (surprisingly!) from The Economist magazine's The World in 2009 special issue. In a piece called A Water Warning the President of Nestle mentions how resource intensive the meat-rich diet is compared to a veggie diet:
Diets are another variable. Europeans and Americans have for years had high proportions of meat in their diets, but now this trend is catching on in emerging markets as incomes rise. Meat requires ten times the water withdrawn per calorie by plants. So the average daily diet in California requires some 6,000 litres of water in agriculture, compared with 3,000 litres in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt.
If you've never read about the water issue before, try these:
As a Canadian, a shortage of water is the furthest thing from your mind, but this is really a massive problem.